An Anthropometric Study Of Children With Sickle Cell Anaemia At The Kenyatta National Hospital,Nairobi.
Weights,heights, upper-mid-arm circumference, skin fold-thickness and head circumference measurements were recorded in a cross sectional study of 256 children with sickle-cell anemia aged between 5 months and 14 years. The children were grouped into high and low socioeconomic class using their fathers' educational background and the type of job. Compared with 172 normal controls, weight was significantly less at all ages; the average height of younger patients was significantly Less but that of older patients was close to that of centrals. Weight and height were more favorable for the high compared with the low socioeconomic sickles. The same trend was observed in the upper-mid-arm circumference and skin fold thickness measurements, Head;circumference measurements shewed high mean values in favour of the sickles, the low socioeconomic class sickles showing the highest scores. Although there were sexual, differences in achieved growth, this had no relationship either socioeconomic status or the sickle-cell disease. It appears that sickle-cell-anemia accounts for some degree of physical retardation and malnutrition in the affected children. It is felt that as the standards of living improve better social circumstances will lead to better physical growth of the sickle-cell anemia patients. meanwhile emphasis in management should be placed In improved nutrition, prevention and treatment of inter-current infections and anemia.